Chinese travel booking sites adopt Malaysian airline boycott
The backlash in China over the disappearance of flight 370 from the commercial plane led to a travel boycott in Malaysia. Spurred primarily by online conversations, the boycott has since snowballed to involve several local airline booking sites.
On the popular microblogging social media platform Weibo, the topic of “tourism in Malaysia” had been trending for several days, with most users expressing their disinterest in a trip to Malaysia as a result of what they perceived to be. a poorly managed response to the missing flight which was carrying mostly Chinese passengers. Many mainland Chinese, including several outspoken celebrities, have since called for an official travel boycott.
Several of China’s largest online ticketing and travel booking portals have joined in public outrage, announcing the refusal to issue tickets with Malaysia Airlines and allowing customers to book flights to the Asian nation. Southeast via other Chinese airlines. Agencies like eLong, LY.com, Qunar and Mango, which are among China’s most popular travel sites, say their new Malaysia Airlines-free services will last indefinitely.
“We will maintain the ban indefinitely until the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines release all the information they have in order to uncover the truth about the missing flight as soon as possible,” eLong posted on its official Weibo account page. . Two of the passengers on the missing flight to Beijing are said to have booked their flights through eLong. In good faith, eLong said it would also pay the families of the two passengers 100,000 yuan “as a consolation”.
LY.com also posted a statement on its Weibo profile saying it was ready to offer full refunds to customers who wanted to cancel existing bookings using the airline, and would follow the ban until the Malaysian airline. “Resolves the truth and offers a satisfactory explanation. to all victims and to the Chinese people.
The online response to the ticketing ban and refunds has been overwhelmingly positive among users, which can often be an appropriate indicator of the public perception of a business, brand or person. âThis is the solidarity we need. They [Malaysian Airlines] must be accountable to all of us, âsaid one person, reposting eLong’s statement.
âEven if you don’t agree with the travel ban, why hand over business to a company that is such a mess. Book trips on another airline, âadded another blogger.
One company, Ctrip (NASDAQ: ADR), however, did not agree to the airline ban. As of Friday, the website continues to offer Malaysian Airlines flights as a booking option on flights between China and Malaysia. Ctrip is China’s leading travel website and has said it will not follow the lead of its competitors. The reason? “Objections raised by the sales department,” a Ctrip employee told the South China Morning Post anonymously. Ctrip is a NASDAQ listed company that dominates the market with nearly 50% of the total online travel booking market.